Today is my birthday,
like a little secret,
not a person in 4480 miles knows.

I eat fruit and drink instant coffee,
searching for a retreat that will
make it easier to starve myself.
Maybe then I’ll return to the girl
I lost 5 years ago.

I waft to a used bookstore and
pick up Kafka, a safe backup,
after the Irish owner
warned me about Proust.

I splurge on a $20 massage
which is not quite rough enough;
I guess they never are.

I call my mother for the first time
in two months,
the longest we’ve ever gone
without speaking.

My age’s label confronts me again.
You’re so young, they’ll tell me,
until I’m sixty.

Has it really been 5 years?
I’m still stuck in a loop
that promises me “one day.”

I await buzzes of remembrances
to follow through.
I know who will call and I’m glad.

I know too who won’t,
but I still hope that for once
my intuition can be proven wrong.

Sometimes a birthday is the chance we get
to say I love you in other words.

Today is my birthday
and I’m here.